Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M’s strength and conditioning coaches took steps in the offseason to close the ass gap. Science, for the win:
This season, the coaches dove further into sports science data, tracking several aspects of players’ wellbeing. There’s an entire staff dedicated to the sports science, nutrition and all aspects of player development that works separate from the strength staff. One of those members, Texas A&M assistant athletic director for sport science Howard Gray, meets with Jackson at 5 a.m. daily to give him a rundown on where the team stands, and Jackson makes adjustments to his plan from there.
The biggest change in training, Jackson says, is the amount of running. Sumlin wanted his team to retain more muscle mass and be stronger against the SEC teams it faced. Jackson adjusted because “it’s hard to make that lean [muscle] mass grow if you’re forced to run a lot more.” Jackson said he focuses in-season on strength rather than conditioning.
“The big difference is the running is backed off on because we do it in practice now,” Jackson said. “Practice tempo is up, so I don’t have to do it as much whenever we’re not practicing.”
In the SEC, you can never have enough support staff.